Animal Experiences

I was looking through old pictures the other day and ran across these. We’re regular visitors at the Woodland Park Zoo and we love visiting the Seattle Aquarium. When we travel, we look for different zoos and aquariums to visit.  Last summer we went to the Newport Aquarium, in Oregon, and over spring break we went to Seaworld.   

The pictures below remind me of how experiences with animals impact our lives. The kids are so excited. We have a kangaroo farm not too farm from where we live.  It’s been a long time since we’ve been there and we are due to take a trip there again.  I love to see my kids totally engaged and learning. There is such a huge difference between reading about animals and actually petting and touching animals, or even just watching them through the glass.

I liked holding the baby kangaroo too!

That brings me to another story.  It was my first year teaching kindergarten and I had a little boy in my class who I knew did not have many life experiences.  When I asked him what he liked to do he said he just liked to watch tv.  His mom said he didn’t like to play outside, didn’t have a bike, and spent much of his time with no other kids around.  I had a lot of concerns about him, socially, emotionally, and academically. 

One day the boy in my class was looking through one of my Zootles magazines and saw a zebra.  His eyes grew wide and he came running over to show me the cool horse he had found.  He asked me what it was.  I was shocked.  Here was a little boy, 6 years old, who had never seen a zebra.  He had never read a book about a zebra, seen a picture, or even watched a tv show with zebras.  I asked him if he had ever been to the zoo and he asked what a zoo was.  This conversation with this little boy changed the way I think about experiences with my kids.  I’m so grateful that I have time and resources to do things and go places.  I want my kids to experience all life has to offer.  We take every chance we get to learn about and spend time with animals now. My kids feed the pigs on my cousin’s farm, we visit the petting zoos in our area, care for our dog, and even got to go horseback riding last summer.

Summer is just around the corner.  I’m thinking a zoo trip, low tide beach walk, and kangaroo farm trip sound pretty good.  What animal experiences have your kids had?  

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